Romancing History

Interview with Karen Witemeyer & a Giveaway

I’m so thrilled to welcome historical romance author and sweet friend, Karen Witemeyer to Romancing History today. I had the pleasure of meeting Karen at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in 2016, but I’d been a fan of her books way before that. In fact, meeting Karen in person was similar to a little girl meeting her favorite Disney princess.

Karen’s newest release, In Honor’s Defense, released June 7 and is the 3rd book in her Hanger’s Horseman series. Here’s a link to my review on BookBub.

And don’t forget to visit the Giveaway section below and enter to win a print copy of In Honor’s Defense and a pair of bookish socks (sorry, giveaway open to U.S. residents only). Many thanks to Karen for her generous donation for our drawing.

Before we chat with Karen, here’s a little bit about her and her new book.


About Karen

For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Voted #1 Readers’ Favorite Christian Romance Author in 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, Karen is a multiple award-winning author and a firm believer in the power of happy endings. She is an avid cross-stitcher, tea drinker, and gospel hymn singer who makes her home in Abilene, TX with her heroic husband who vanquishes laundry dragons and dirty dish villains whenever she’s on deadline.

Connect with Karen:

The Posse (Karen’s FB Group)     Amazon     BookBub    Inspired by Life & Fiction Blog


About the Book

He’s Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life–for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he’s left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she’d have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke’s attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris’s brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.

Purchase at:

Amazon         Baker Book House        B&N         Christianbook.com


Interview with Karen Witemeyer

 

Fast Five

1. Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy? (I should warn you, there is only ONE right answer, LOL!)!

Colin Firth – He was my first Mr. Darcy and remains my favorite. (Excellent answer, Karen!)

2. Night Owl or Early Bird?

Early Bird. It’s rare for me to stay awake past 10:30 pm.

3. Dark or Milk chocolate? Dark.

4. Downton Abbey or Call the Midwife

Downton Abbey – although I only watched the first few seasons.

5. Kindle, Audio book, or Paperback?

Tough call – I use all three. I’ll go traditional, though, and say paperback.

Me, too, but I tend to listen to more audio books these days.

Q & A

RH: You’re a pretty well-known author to Romancing History readers. Rather than giving us the typical back of the book author bio, please share something quirky about yourself?

KW: Here are a few random quirks you might not know about me:

  • I love groan-worthy puns
  • I’m super competitive when it comes to board games (though my sweet disposition masks my desire to stomp my opponents into the ground)
  • I can’t start writing for the day until I’ve cleared out all the unread email in my inbox.
  • My feet are perpetually cold, so I always have a pair of socks on when lounging around the house.
  • In keeping with the previous item, I collect book-related socks.
  • I am a horrible horticulturist. Only the hearty survive.
  • I love avocados but hate guacamole.

RH: Those are absolutely fun quirks! As a member of the Posse, I’ve learned about your propensity for puns, which by the way, I also find very punny. I also knew you loved board games but had no idea you were so competitive. You are too sweet so I’m finding that very hard to believe. Fans of romantic fiction love a cute meet. How did you and your hubby meet?

KW: We met at church my freshman year in college. I recognized his roommate from a church camp reunion I attended back in California where I was from, and the three of us became good friends. My husband often led singing at our church, and one Sunday I happened to be sitting in the pew next to him when he was leading singing (we were not yet dating). After services, an elderly member came up to shake his hand and asked to be introduced to his wife – indicating me! It became a joke with us until the day we went out to lunch to celebrate our faux anniversary and Wes admitted he had true feelings for me and wanted to change our faux dates into real ones. Things progressed from there, and this month we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. The happily-ever-after is still in full swing.

RH: Aww, that is such a sweet story. Friends is the best way to start. It’s the foundation of everything. Speaking of love—well, book love anyway—I have LOVED the Hangar’s Horseman series. Matt and his compadres are swoon worthy heroes. Can I be terribly indiscreet and ask if you had a favorite horseman?

KW: That’s such a hard question! I love them all for different reasons. Matt for his courage, leadership, and dependability. Mark for his ability to tease and laugh while still being a man of depth. Jonah for his quiet strength, compassionate nature, and the way he never shirks away from something just because it’s hard. Luke for his protective nature, sacrificial spirit, and dedication to God’s Word. If I had to pick, I’d probably pick Luke because he is freshest on my mind, and because I’m a sucker for a wounded hero. Luke’s backstory made me ache to write him the sweetest happy ending I could.

RH: Hahaha! Aren’t I mean? I agree that was a hard question and I would’ve answered the same—with a wonderful reason why each would deserve the title of  “My Favorite Hanger’s Horseman Hero.” That’s probably because you excel at writing swoon worthy heroes. That brings another question to mind. What do you think is the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?

KW: I love writing the male point of view. Maybe because I like believing that I know what a man is thinking. Ha! However, it can be challenging to make the male POV sound authentic. I’m a natural explainer. I love giving lots of details and rationales. I like to look at things from all angles. Yet, when I’m writing in the male POV, I have to curtail these more feminine tendencies. Sentences must be shorter. Decisive. To the point. Fewer descriptions. More action. My cowboy heroes are not likely to be thinking in long, poetic phrases about their ladies, and they sure won’t be talking that way. Finding the balance between giving myself and my female readers the romance we want from our leading men while still being authentic to their characters requires a deft hand, one I’m constantly working to perfect.

RH: I think those are excellent points. While I love your humility, it would be hard to imagine anyone better at writing the male POV than you. Preach was a favorite of mine throughout the series and I was anxiously waiting to see who he’d “ride off into the sunset with.” Preach and his leading lady, Damaris Baxter, are very different characters in everything except faith. Does that make a romance easier or harder to write?

KW: I love to explore what brings people together, and while it’s a common idea that opposites attract, I’ve always believed that there must be some core commonalities beneath the differences to bind a couple together for a lifetime. So, while Luke and Damaris seem to be stark opposites—he an adventure-seeking soldier used to solving problems with guns and fists; she a quiet, proper lady used to escaping problems with books and needlework—they actually have several core commonalities. They both seek belonging and family, they both value God’s Word, and they both have a strong, protective instinct toward those they care about. This core common ground is what serves as the foundation for their relationship.

RH: Speaking of Damaris, she seems by far the most timid of all the ladies in the Hangar’s Horsemen series. Why did you choose that personality type for her?

KW: It’s challenging as an author to create fresh characters for every book. Each heroine needs to be unique. I love strong, feisty heroines, yet I believe there are different types of strength. Damaris has a quieter strength. She’s introverted and shy, content to be invisible in most situations, yet she has a steel core when it comes to family. She will never give up on them and do whatever it takes to keep them safe and heal their emotional wounds. Luke looks like a mountain of a man from the outside—tall, muscular, good in a fight—yet deep down he carries hidden vulnerabilities that convince him he is not worthy of being loved or having a family. Damaris is timid on the outside, but she is an emotional lioness inside. The two fit together perfectly, each having what the other needs to be whole.

RH: I love that. Do you have a favorite quote from In Honor’s Defense?

KW: This is one of my favorites:

“He’s a Horseman…As opposite from my quiet bookish existence as one can be. Yet he actively seeks my opinion. Not only seeks it but honors it. Honors me. He looks at me as if I were a rare treasure he’d never thought he’d find, and when I look at him…It’s as if all my odd, misshaped edges finally fit somewhere.”

That is a great quote, and fits in perfectly with what we’ve been talking about—how opposites attract but need a common foundation to support the relationship, often fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle only the other can complete.

Just for fun, here’s one of my favorite quotes from In Honor’s Defense:

“I’ll stay as long as you need me.” The promise he made days ago reflected in his eyes.

Her heart thumped out the question she didn’t have the courage to ask out loud. What if I need you forever?

RH: Sigh. That quote still gives me goosies! This is the final installment of the Hangar’s Horsemen series. Did that make it bittersweet to write? Or is there a certain satisfaction in bringing their stories to completion?

KW: It’s always hard to say goodbye to favorite characters, yet I find great satisfaction in bringing a series to its conclusion. I loved bringing all the Horsemen back together in this story, giving them all a final moment to shine and celebrating the special bond of brotherhood they share. I like to imagine them continuing to live and love and adventure together as they raise their children and overcome the obstacles of life. They live on in my heart, hopefully inspiring me to be brave, to stand up for those the world dismisses, and to hold tight to the relationships that matter most.

RH:  Dang, Karen, you’re gonna make me cry. Whenever I tell my husband that a character’s story is making me teary, he asks if we should pray for them? LOL! But, I suppose that’s because the author has skillfully made them come to life, made them our friends and we’re deeply invested in their lives (a.k.a. stories). Any chance we can get a sneak peek at what’s next for you?

KW: I’m starting a new series where I will take familiar fairy tales and give them a Texas twist. I’m working on a version of Snow White first, featuring a Texas Ranger hero, a villainess with a fondness for mirrors, and seven retired drovers at the Diamond D ranch. Should be fun!

RH: That’s such a great idea! I loved how you did you put a Texas twist on A Christmas Carol in your novella, Under the Texas Mistletoe. I’m looking forward to your new series.

I had so much fun chatting with you, Karen. Thanks for visiting with my readers today.


Giveaway*

Karen has graciously offered an autographed copy of In Honor’s Defense and a pair of bookish socks to one Romancing History reader.** To enter, tell me your first Karen Witemeyer story.

*Giveaway ends at midnight, June 29, 2022.
**Sorry, giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

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58 Comments

  1. Connie Porter Saunders

    My first Karen Witemeyer book was More Than Words Can Say and I was hooked! I’ve loved these Hanger Horsemen but I believe I would love anything that she writes! Thanks for a great interview and a wonderful giveaway!

  2. Caryl Kane

    My first Karen Witemeyer book was With This Ring.

  3. JOAN ARNING

    I think Stealing the Preacher was my first!

  4. NNnRe9EC7Kathy+Bailey

    Karen, thanks for stopping by Kelly’s blog and for your insights. I do Western too. Have tried other genres, but the West keeps drawing me back. There’s so much…I can’t leave the genre till I’ve done a cattle drive and a barroom brawl.
    Kathy Bailey

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Kathy, You crack me — a cattle drive and bar room brawl. What would Jenny think? Who am I kidding, she’d be right in the mix!

  5. Rachel

    To be honest, I don’t remember the first book I read. After I read one book, I went on a Karen Witemeyer book binge and read all that were available within the next week or two! I love all of her books and always eagerly wait for the next one.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Rachel, I love that you binged Karen’s books! I tend to do that, too, when I find a new-to-me author. Good luck in the drawing.

  6. Deena Adams

    What a great interview! Sadly, I haven’t read any of Karen’s books…YET. But I definitely want to! Maybe I’ll win the giveaway. LOL

    • I’ll be pulling for you, Deena! 🙂

    • romancinghistory

      Hey Deena, I know you’ll love KW’s books. But I feel you. I write HR and I have a list of authors I want to read in my own genre! Best of luck in the drawing!

  7. Cathy

    I found her books at the library and was hooked. I believe I tracked her down and sent her fan emails–lol–with the disclaimer that I was not really a stalker. (No Other WIll Do is one of my absolute favorites!) I left my copy of At Love’s Command at my mom’s and now she loves Karen’s books, too. (Mom has yet to return it. 😉 )

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Cathy, I love that you “stalked” her. I did that with Julie Lessman. LOL! And way to recruit your mom as a fan! Best of luck in the drawing.

  8. Maryann

    My first book by Karen was A Worthy Pursuit. I always love her book covers too.

    • Thank you for your sweet comment about my covers, Maryann. The Art Department at Bethany House is one of the best in the industry. I’ve been so fortunate to be the beneficiary of their expertise.

    • Jennifer Heckert

      My first Karen Witemeyer story (I’m currently reading it) is At Love’s Command. I kept seeing posts about her newest release, In Honor’s Defense. When I looked it up and saw two previous books in the series, I decided to start at the beginning. I’m just about to finish it and start the second book. Karen is a very talented writer and I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

      • romancinghistory

        Hi Jennifer, Welcome to Romancing History and to Karen’s books! You are in for a treat as there isn’t a dud in the bunch! I really enjoyed At Love’s Command. Best of luck in the drawing.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Maryann, Oh, she DOES have beautiful covers, doesn’t she? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dud! Thanks for commenting and best of luck in the drawing!

  9. Vickie

    Eek, I can’t actually remember! It was either the Short Straw Bride or Stealing the Preacher. I’m actually thinking it was Stealing the Preacher which made me head to Thriftbooks and load up my cart with more of her books! Then I got to meet her last summer and found her to be a sweet as her heroines and loved her books all the more!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Vickie, Welcome to Romancing History! So jealous!! Wish we had a Thriftbooks near me! Hard to believe such a sweet gal is so competitive. Now I want a board gaming weekend with her to see if I agree. LOL!

  10. Gena Bessire

    My first was the Short Straw Bride. Love it! Then I actively found and bought all the rest and have been reading Karen Witemeyer books ever since. Love her writing style!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Gena, Welcome o Romancing History! Love, love, love SSB! It’s not only my fav KW book but definitely on the list of books I’d read again.

  11. Karie B

    My first Karen book was Stealing the Preacher! I’m not sure I have a favorite, though! I’ve loved all of her books! Thank you Karen for the chance to win this autographed book and the socks!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Karie,

      Welcome to Romancing History! Stealing the Preacher is awesome and and seems to be a fan favorite here as well. Good luck in the drawing!

  12. Cindy

    My first book was Short Straw Bride. And I was hooked. I’ve read all of her books. I even have several of them on audiobooks because I got my husband hooked on them and he prefers listening to them. We just listened to In Honor’s Defense on our recent road trip to Texas.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Cindy, Welcome to Romancing History! Short Straw Bride was my first KW book and remains my favorite (if I have to pick one)! Best of luck in the drawing.

    • Hi, Cindy. I adore hearing about husbands getting hooked on the books. I love that you listen together. My hubby is a sci-fi/fantasy reader, so we rarely read the same books.

  13. Gloria Moseley

    Karen Witemeyer is one of my favorite authors 😊📚❤️ The first book I read of hers was: “Stealing The Preacher” and I LOVED her books ever since.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Gloria, Welcome to Romancing History! Wasn’t that a fabulous book? I mean the title is awesome and well, the Archer Brothers….need I say anymore??

    • Thanks for giving Crockett and Joanna a shout out, Gloria! 🙂

  14. Joy Y.

    “Stealing the Preacher”
    The title caught my eye while my mom and I were looking at the books at our closest Salvation Army. (One of our favorite places to shop.)
    After reading it we just had to read the rest of the series and any other books we could find by Karen Witemeyer.
    Thankfully, our local library is part of a consortium, and we were able to request the other books written before that one since they did not have any on their shelves at the time.
    Now we have several of her books in our collection and our local library orders them, too.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Joy! Welcome to Romancing History! Stealing the Preacher was hysterical! That’s great that your local library is ordering her books now!

    • Libraries are the perfect place to try new authors. I hadn’t even thought about books at the Salvation Army. I’m so glad the Archers (and others!) found their way into your lives, Joy!

  15. Tammy Rogers

    Head In The Clouds was my first and still a favorite

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Tammy, Welcome to Romancing History! That seems to be a crowd favorite here! Best of luck in the drawing!

  16. What a great interview! I loved getting to know you , Karen, and you a little better as well, Kelly! Sadly, I haven’t yet read one of Karen’s books, but this series is high on my list to read! They sound so enjoyable! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    • Hi, Cynthia. Maybe In Honor’s Defense will be your first. 🙂

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Cynthia, Whaaatttt??? I’m not sure what to say about that? This cold alter our entire friendhsip! LOL! Just kidding but I do hope you’ll pick one up soon! Such great books!! I know you’ll love them, sweet friend!

    • Carla McKinney

      “Short Straw Bride” was the first book of Karen’s I read and I was hooked. I haunted used book stores and online sources for other books by her and finally have them all. My adult daughter and I love reading Christian historical fiction so I shared Karen Witemeyer with her and she shared Tamara Alexander with me. As a retired elementary teacher I look forward to the next series to see the twisted tales! I also loved being a part of Karen’s Christmas exchange this past year. Great fun!

      • romancinghistory

        Hi Carla, Welcome to Romancing History! Ugh, I should’ve given Karen a chance to share about The Posse, her online FB group, in the interview. Wish I had thought of that. It’s a lot of fun and she posts regularly there and interacts with her readers on a daily basis. If anyone is reading these comments, just search for The Posse inside Facebook and request to join.

  17. Sara T

    My first was Head in the Clouds and I was hooked! Loved this heroine and hero…to close to call on my favorite though!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Sara, Welcome to Romancing History. That’s exactly why I chose to ask your first KW read. It would have been cruel to ask for a favorite. I know I couldn’t do it!

  18. Ronya Ervin

    Head in the Clouds was my first Karen Witemeyer book. I was hooked with that first one and have LOVED every single one since! ❤️

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Ronya, Welcome to Romancing History. What a beautiful name. Head in the Clouds…I think that was the one where the governess liked to read all the time, right? Well you can’t go wrong with a KW book! They’re all fabulous!

    • Ronya – Thanks for stopping by today. Until I started my latest series, I always considered Head in the Clouds my Texas fairy tale. Maybe I’ll have to switch that to my Texas Jane Eyre. 🙂

  19. Elizabeth Litton

    Short-Straw Bride was my first Karen Witemeyer story, and it remains my favorite. 🙂

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Elizabeth, Ahhh, a woman after my own heart! The Archer Brothers are still some of my favorite historical heroes! BUT, the Hanger’s Horseman are a very close second. Loved, loved, loved this series!

    • Go Team Travis! 🙂

  20. Cheryl C.

    To Win Her Heart – back in 2013 I think!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Cheryl, Welcome to Romancing History! I loved that story! I don’t remember the character names but the hunky blacksmith stole my heart! Best of luck in the drawing!

    • Hi, Cheryl!
      When forced to pick, Levi Grant usually gets my vote for favorite hero. 🙂 Glad you fell in love with him, too.

  21. Lynsay F

    My first was A Tailor-Made Bride.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Lynsay, Welcome to Romancing History! That was a great story! Good luck in the drawing.

    • Hi, Lynsay. Thanks for stopping by. Jericho and Hannah will always hold a special place in my heart as my first story to share with readers. Did you know it was actually written AFTER Head in the Clouds? My publisher preferred to debut me with what they called my “dress shop book” so we held back Gideon and Adelaide’s story and published it second. 🙂

  22. Trixi

    My first Karen Witemeyer book was actually the Archer Brother series (Short Straw Bride is the first). Oh my goodness, she pulled me in with her sense of humor!! I love to laugh at something in a book, wit & humor are always such a fun thing. Especially puns that surprise you 😂 Karen is the queen of humor, I think!

    This was a awesome author interview. I’ve had the pleasure of being a reviewer & launch team member for her in the past. I just love everything about Karen! I always look forward to her books 😊

    • Trixi – You make me smile. Thank you so much for your kind words and your support of my books. Pun lovers unite! 🙂

      • romancinghistory

        Hi Karen, I’m so excited to have you on the blog this week!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Trixi, Welcome back to Romancing History! I soooo loved Short Straw Bride. That was also my first KW book. Good luck in the drawing.

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